New e-book: A Selfie Film: Falling In Love: Based on Secrets of a Gutsy Teen

Trailer for 'Falling in Love, A Coming of Age, Selfie Video' from Barbara Holstein on Vimeo.

Making a film is an incredibly exciting adventure. Even more exciting is developing a new form of filmmaking where the character films her own scenes using her phone while a film crew works around her. I am proud to be one of the originators of this form of filmmaking.

The script is done, but the twists and turns are never expected. Just like writing a novel, I found each film I produce begins to have a life and destiny of its own. This is so true for ‘Falling in Love, A Coming of Age, Selfie Film’. Using real locations is fascinating in and of itself. We chose Tuzzio’s Restaurant in Long Branch, New Jersey for 4 of the scenes. This involved the restaurant opening just for us, including the cast and over 35 extras. Food was served and scenes were altered to represent different seasons of the year. It was so much fun. Megan Brown, the star, did such a great job chatting up her mom (played by her real mother, Cris Brown) as they eat in four different locations of the restaurant, always with the same waiter hovering. (See the film to find out why he is so important).

Another fascinating aspect to making the film was all the filming we didn’t use for this version of Falling in Love. Why? Not because it wasn’t great but because the film was revealing so many important topics and life events that kids go through as they grow up that we just couldn’t fit them all into one film!!! Finally, with some disappointment I as the director, had to choose the clear focus of this film and save footage for at least two more versions of the same story.

Afterall, one look at the same circumstances is never enough. We all know how the same moment in time can leave each person involved with a different reaction or impression. Yes, this was a year the girl fell in love, but it was also the year that lots of other things happened to her. They were just as important and alluded to in this 14 minute film. But they couldn’t be fully explored. They will be as I unfold the next version of ‘Falling in Love’. Will it be the importance of friends as we become teens or the frailties, disappointments and shocks of family life? Stay tuned….

Meanwhile, the wonderful thing about A Selfie Film: Falling In Love is that the reader gets to see behind the scene photos and some of the footage of the final film while becoming in immersed in thought questions and discussions that can take the reader on her own adventure of either remembering the important feelings and decisions of coming of age or have a base to discuss these concepts with her family, students, friends, etc.

News Blast:
Come in see the premiere of this film March 4,2017 at the Brightside Tavern Short Film Fest in Jersey City, New Jersey. It is up for two awards: Best Experimental Short Film, and Best New Jersey Short Film.

Coming of Age and Falling in Love, seen through the lens of a #SelfieFilm

Coming of Age is one of the most important hurdles that a young woman faces, filled with the issues of leaving childhood behind, the storm of the hormones and finding a place for oneself in society that is healthy, productive and fulfilling for whoever the young woman is becoming. Oftentimes it is also filled with disappointment and disillusionment about one’s chances in life. Girls suffer from all sorts of unexpected circumstances, including self-esteem blows, lack of academic opportunities, familiy strife, unexpected early pregnancies, drugs, etc.

I have been developing new means of sharing many of the above issues through the #selfiefilm.

There are so many new ways to use technology to tell these stories in film. I am proud do be an innovator specializing in Selfie Films. My innovative films incorporate Selfies as an integral part of filmmaking. In my latest film, ‘Falling in Love, A Coming of Age Selfie Film’, I’ve taken an historically important part of growing up, falling in love, using new Selfie technology to make the film. Megan Brown who plays ‘the Girl’, used her own iPhone to film all of her scenes. Not only that, she chose her own costumes, chose many of the settings and even improvised lines in some of the scenes. Thus we ended up with a story line that not only gives the audience many subjects to discuss about coming of age and dealing with the realities of a first crush but even gave the actress herself a chance to develop a sureness of herself as a creative person that wouldn’t happen in a usual filming situation. Of course we had a small crew of two camera people for B role shots and scenes. And the quality of the script had already been assured, as it comes from one of the books I have written for girls, tweens and teens. This book, ‘Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen’, is published by Sky Pony Press.

What I particularly am excited about in this film is that you can use it as a teaching device, using each segment to further develop discussion and insights about subject material that relates to growing up, such as feeling lonely, anger at one’s parents for the decisions they make, jealousy, feeling sad, feelings of falling in love, recovering from down moods, etc.

Is it dangerous to keep a video secret diary on a cell phone?

The Truth, Growing Up in Today’s World of Social Media
A girl in the throes of growing up keeps her secret diary on her cell in video. Here she shares all her feelings and worries about fall in love, growing up, having a best friend, moving to a new town, her parents fighting, hating her mother, her body changing and developing and more. She figures out a secret message to put into her locket to help her keep the best of herself for the future.

Why is she keeping her secret diary on her phone? Isn’t paper good enough? Maybe not in today’s social media world. Maybe she is also sharing her private life and feelings with others. Who? Why? Do her parent’s know? Is this safe?

Think about if it were your kid.

New Short Film, ‘The Truth’ stars CassidyTerracciano, now Meet Her Mom!

Meet Sandie, a wonder woman of today! When Lin, myself and Sandie started to film Cassidy we were totally unfamiliar with some of the facets of making a film. I knew you need a script and I supplied that. That was easy for me as the ‘Girl’ in The Truth has been my baby for over 10 years now. She has come to life for me through three versions of my book, a play version and now a film version. Cassidy is already a great actress and Lin Pernille is a great photographer. And of course, Sandie is a great mom, bringing up 5 wonderful children. However, we didn’t know for example, anything about taking B roles of the shoots. Nor did we think ahead about Cassidy changing clothes for each scene, exactly how we would do that, etc. Also, we were not initially planning to do a Selfie version of the ‘Girl’s’ diary entries. Now we had to learn even more about filming when Jon Seiler, our editor came on board.

At every step of the way Sandie pitched in and helped us. She became the stage manager of the costume changes. She learned how to do B role footage. Basically, the film or films (there is so much footage that I hope to produce more than one film) could not have happened without Sandie. Thank you Sandie!!!

A Great Camera Woman, Lin Pernille Kristensen

LPK1You can’t make a film, even a short film without cameras.  Lin came into my life about 8 years ago.  She has helped me with everything from loading my own family photos onto my computer, to filming me talking to Girl Scouts to making trailers for me, to filming ‘The Locket’, the play version of The Truth.  And now she has been filming The Truth, A Short Film.  I love working with Lin.  She is friendly, kind and considerate and does great work.  Oh, I forgot, she has done head shots of me also.  Lin now has her own photography business and focuses a lot of weddings.  You can find her at:

Lin Pernille Photography specializes in wedding and event photography in the NJ & NY area. http://www.linpernille.com/
2520 John F. Kennedy Blvd
Jersey City, New Jersey
(201) 306-6732
 Now take a look at this video she did for The Truth, a Short Film.  Not only did she capture the ‘Girl’ beautifully but she helped me create a doorway through which the Girl can help kids and parents everywhere.  That is the doorway of focus, concern and and understanding.  This short video, only 30 seconds, helps us focus on the intense feelings that kids have as they try to process their real life feelings and often the less than adequate responses of their parents.  “Hate” is a strong feeling and we may wonder if the ‘Girl’ really hates her mother.  And that’s where the concern and understanding of her dilemma can begin to be discussed and understood better by all of us.  She is the beacon drawing us back to our most conflictual feelings and helping us move to resolution.  And without a ‘staff’ she wouldn’t be heard.  Lin is a great member of crew!

If An Actress Can Play Anne Frank, She’s Good! That’s Cassidy Terracciano, Star of ‘The Truth, A Short Film’

When I saw Cassidy play the part of Anne Frank in a production directed by Bob Angelini, I knew I had my ‘Girl’.  Cassidy is one of those talented actresses who not only picks up the style and mindset of her character, but she also pours into her character an intensity and energy that makes the person come so alive.  I’m so lucky that she could work with our team this summer as we started production.

Some of you may know that she also was ‘The Girl’ from The Truth in a staged reading of ‘The Locket’ my play based on The Truth.  This happened in May in Manhattan at the Dramatist Guild.

Watch a little bit of Cassidy’s Staged Reading about how the boy she was in love with is beginning to disappoint her!

 

 

 

Making a short film is the most amazing experience!

Making The Truth, A Short Film, is the most amazing experience.  Think of it this way: A women entering or should I say having entered her wisdom years, who was teaching second and first graders who now are ???? years old themselves, finds that life has taken her from the classroom to the psychology treatment room to head space where authors sit up late at night writing their books, to becoming a playwrite and now, as if a magic wand has been circled around her head, she is producing an independent film she has written.

Does that sound exciting to you? It is certainly exciting to me, as I am that person.  Where lots of my friends are playing golf or preparing to be a snow bird, I am looking at these 20 fabulous scenes, videotaped by Lin, acted by Cassidy, staging and costuming helped by Cassidy’s mom, filmed in my friend Kirsten’s Tea House, the White House on Monmouth Road in Oakhurst, and I am filled with the kind of rapture that only comes with creation and fulfillment of a life dream or project.

I’ll be telling you lots more in further blogs.  In fact, we want to share the whole process with you as the film emerges and is sent into festivals around the country.  This is too much fun and too important in terms of the messages embedded in The Truth about growing up and staying strong to keep it quiet!

Stay with us for the adventure!  Let’s walk that walk together.IMG_1924(2)